97. Hollywood Military Adviser, Paul Biddiss; Correcting George Clooney, Pinewood with Brad Pitt, Tenerife with Matt Damon and Surviving Emergency Chute Landings

There aren’t many people who would correct George Clooney but, on his first film as an extra, this led to former paratrooper Paul Biddiss having a huge change in career from surveillance and bodyguard to Hollywood military adviser. He’s since worked with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Sam Mendes and more. He’s been chased by a baboon in Kenya, charged by elephants in the Masai Mara, wrangled huge snakes in Malaysian swamps and most importantly, to him anyway, has found a KFC in every worldwide location. 

 

On this episode we cover:

Being ‘stuck’ in the beautiful in the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire

24 years as a paratrooper

His 5 sons (yes really!)

Desert, the arctic and urban hostile environments

Being chased by a baboon in Kenya

Being charged by a bull elephant in the Masai Mara

Not being the greatest of travellers

Seeing Table Mountain from his window

Finding KFCs and gyms all over the world

How he went from Paratrooper to Hollywood adviser

Entering the security industry as a bodyguard and surveillance

His first job as an extra – Monuments Men

Correcting George Clooney

Working on Fury with Brad Pitt

Filming the BBC’s War and Peace in Lithuania

Filming the Jason Bourne movies in Tenerife

Watching two old women having a fight with a flip flop

Dodgy tourists in Playa de Las Americas

Refusing to give Matt Damon a barbell in the gym

Filming sci-fi Foundation for Apple TV in Malta

Doing surveillance in between shooting

Maintaining a distance between him and the Hollywood stars

Being ‘the grey man’

Following dodgy blokes round the M25

How the surveillance jobs work

Women being more surveillance aware and harder to follow

Having an apartment in Croatia, for six months for work

Zagreb doubling up for Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Mexico and more

Filming in everything from high rises to swamps in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for Sky One’s Strikeback

Grappling with a massive python in Malaysia

Finding the KFC in Kuala Lumpur

How chains like McDonalds can feel like an Oasis after weeks of foreign food

Watching Blackadder from incredible locations in hotel rooms

Being the military adviser on Sam Mendes’ 1917

Lisa visiting her great-grandfather’s grave in Ypres in Belgium

Jumping into France with over a thousand other parachutist

His miraculous survival after having to pull the reserve chute

Whether or not he feels fear

Not being into music and ‘having no soul’

His father being an ex paratrooper

Filming the Suez Canal scene for The Crown